Tag Archives: Karen Culture

The Karen

By: Amanda Phillips & Kristin Harko



Due to war, persecution, or violence many people are forced to flee their own country.  Everyday these people fear persecution based on race, religion, nationality, group membership, or political standing.  More often than not, these people cannot return to their home countries and seek refuge in a second or third country permanently.  These people seeking refuge are known as refugees.  An expanding group of refugees found in Salt Lake City, Utah is the Karen refugees from Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand.

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Hiking in Thailand

By: Lisa Swift and Kirstie Savage

Deep in the jungle, in the village of Ban Nam Hom several students and I went on a late afternoon hike. As an avid backpacker in North West America I can honestly say that I have never experienced such an uncomfortable trek. All and all, the hike was hotter than Patrick Swazi in Road House. The intense humidity made us feel like we were hiking in a sauna. Aside from the hot and humid conditions, I was suffering from abdominal cramps wile hiking because I had acquired some bad bacteria during our travels. Overall, Hiking in Thailand can be an uncomfortable experience, however; it’s an experience that I would highly recommend.

ImageDuring the hike we saw many unique Buddhist shrines, flowers, fungi and insects. We also crossed paths with many rice farmers who wore ninja looking outfits. At summit we all caught a glimpse of the entire Ban Nam Hom village. After hiking several miles we made it back to the school of Ban Nam Hom just in time to shower our sweaty bodies and eat the fantastic dinner that was prepared by the local villagers.


Slapstick is Universal

By: Tyler Sutton and Greg Pinette

On a morning in Ban Nam Hom I woke up, brushed my teeth, and walked down to breakfast. When I got to breakfast I discovered that I had missed breakfast and needed to help teach English in a classroom. Having almost no teaching experience, I starred blankly at a bunch of children. I wondered what they were thinking. We started with a simple song we had learned the day before and then the ABC’s and then numbers. This went on for about an hour. We thought this was going pretty well until the Thai assistant said we had these kids for another two and half hours. We had run out of ideas and once again found ourselves starring blankly at the children.

Justin took control of the situation and began playing Head-Shoulders-Knees-And Toes. He started playing with the volumes, getting the children to whisper and shout the verses. When they whispered, I found myself getting tired. I thought it would be funny to pretend to fall asleep during Justin’s “lecture.” I did and Justin had all the kids scream the lines of the next verse. I dramatically rolled off the chair and went to the floor. The kids were in stitches and suddenly Justin and I had a routine.

The next few hours flew by as Justin chased me around the classroom while having the kids recite English phrases and verses. We achieved something great that day – we created a rich learning environment via slapstick comedy. Who knew slapstick was universal.